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What Greenland Heatwave?

September 1, 2019

By Paul Homewood


We have been inundated with stories about the “Greenland heatwave” during the last month. such as the Mirror article above, that I debunked last week.

Well, we now have the monthly data in, so what really happened?

Let’s start with Qaanaaq (Thule), which the Mirror reporter visited during w/e 25th August. She wrote:

A heatwave is gripping The Arctic, melting away Greenland’s ice sheet on an unprecedented scale and threatening a global rise in sea levels – an urgent reminder of the climate crisis we are now all facing.

Kids splashing each other in the sea and locals wearing t-shirts were unheard of here in August 10 years ago.

But now, alongside teenage girls wearing skirts to school and increasing mosquitoes, it is a common occurrence for the residents of Qaanaaq, in north-west Greenland, one of the world’s most northerly cities situated 700 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

This is the frontline of climate change…..

The country is also experiencing record-breaking temperatures. In mid-June, along the eastern coast it was 9C warmer than the 1981-2010 average.

Just as western Europe has baked in a heatwave with record temperatures at the end of July, the hot air moved as far north as Greenland with the gauge hitting 22C on August 1. The average high is around 7C….


According to Weather Underground, however, daily maximum temperatures at Qaanaaq never got above 47F that week. The highest temperature of the month was 63F on the 1st.

KNMI confirm that the record temperature at Qaanaaq is 67F, and that a temperature of 63F was also recorded way back in 1959.


The Mirror report also notes that a temperature of 22C (72F) was set last month in Greenland, though it does not say where.

But there is nothing unusual in that at all. In Tasilaaq, for instance, the record stands at 25.3C.

How did August stack up against previous years?

Again according to Weather Underground, mean temperatures at the two main long running sites of Nuuk and Kulusuk (Tasilaaq/Angmassalik) averaged 47F and 44F respectively. 1981-2010 norms are 43F and 44F, so Nuuk was a bit warmer than average, whilst Tasilaaq was no warmer at all.

At neither site would you describe the weather as “heatwave”!



Both sites have temperature data going back to the 19thC, and at neither last month was the temperature unusually high:



In both cases, several Augusts in the 1930s and 40s have been just as warm as last month.

I intend to file an official complaint to the Telegraph about their particularly absurd report the other day, which both reported the heatwave nonsense in the Mirror, and also made ridiculous claims about ice melt.

  1. September 1, 2019 5:33 pm

    Could you please do the follow up to this article and post any response you get from the telegraph. . Even if it’s just crickets.

  2. Ajax Ornis. permalink
    September 1, 2019 5:36 pm

    All very interesting, and all very alarmist and inaccurate. But what struck me was that I’m pretty sure in the original Tasiilaq was referred to as a “city”. How large a population is needed to constitute a city ? Mr Google’s latest figure runs to a huge 656 people in 2013. My small local village is 4 times greater than that.

    • David Kendrick permalink
      September 1, 2019 6:52 pm

      In the US it was something like 10,000 people, in the UK you need a Cathedral not a population.

      • cockneygit permalink
        September 1, 2019 7:51 pm

        ‘Fraid not. Cities without cathedrals are Bath, Cambridge, Hull, Lancaster, Newport, Nottingham, Plymouth, Salford, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton. Meanwhile, there are towns WITH cathedrals that aren’t cities: Bury St Edmunds, Chelmsford, Blackburn, Guildford and Southwell.

        It’s royal decree. City status (based on cathedral) was abolished some 30 years ago, at least.

      • September 1, 2019 8:47 pm

        And at the other end of the scale is St David’s in Pembrokeshire, which we visited many times in the 80s:

      • Paul H permalink
        September 1, 2019 9:39 pm

        …and Preston (City status).

    • September 1, 2019 8:59 pm

      According to Wikipedia: The term ‘city’ is loosely used to describe any populated area in Greenland, given at the most populated place is Nuuk, the capital, with 17,796 inhabitants. But Qaanaaq is listed as a town.

  3. September 1, 2019 5:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate-

    September 1, 2019 5:40 pm

    “I intend to file an official complaint to the Telegraph about their particularly absurd report the other day, which both reported the heatwave nonsense in the Mirror, and also made ridiculous claims about ice melt “………. thank you Paul….

  5. Stonyground permalink
    September 1, 2019 5:43 pm

    I know that the papers tend toward sensationalism and that this kind of story presumably sells. I do however find it interesting that the media is putting out this kind of fake climate alarm story continuously at the moment. It appears that the powers that be are getting worried that the proles are noticing that the predicted catastrophes aren’t happening and are desperate to convince them otherwise. But why are the old news media so keen to do the work for them? Surely the gradual dawning that the whole global warming thing was nothing but a massive con is a far bigger story.

  6. 2hmp permalink
    September 1, 2019 7:51 pm

    The Telegraph has been very much inferior since the Editor changed. This is just another example.

  7. September 1, 2019 8:57 pm

    “I intend to file an official complaint to the Telegraph”. Thank you Paul, for everything you do.

  8. September 1, 2019 9:24 pm

    Off topic but I’ve just been watching BBCs Summer Watch. They are really going overboard with rapidly rising sea levels and recent unprecedented severe storms battering our coastlines

  9. James permalink
    September 1, 2019 9:32 pm

    Here’s a thought: If you heat up a drink with ice, and there’s still ice left, the drink will stay the same temperature, but there will be less ice.

    Same with Greenland.

  10. September 1, 2019 11:26 pm

    Typo – “At nether site” : neither
    “mosquitoes” ..why would mosquitoes be rare in Greenland ?
    don’t Alaska and Scotland get loads in Summer (midges) ?

    It’s like I was in Siberia in one July and it was 30C
    whereas somehow people assume it’s frozen all the time
    I did spot snow in gullies near Lake Baikal

  11. September 1, 2019 11:37 pm

    Like kids wearing T-shirts on Qaanaaq beach never happened before ?
    Let me go to Twitter advanced search and push back the upto date
    This tweet is dated July 2016

  12. September 2, 2019 12:03 am

    What kind of people retweet the Mirror hypebole ?
    #1 Aug 28 Kudos to the @DailyMirror for devoting the first 5 pages of today’s newspaper to climate change:
    says @NeilRJennings Partnership Development Manager @Grantham_IC

    #2 The “give us your effing money or the polar bears die” people

    #3 A naive beeboid

    #4 @nature2030 Chaired by UN Patron of the Wilderness @BenFogle
    #5 Managing Director @rtenews . Ex Managing/Foreign Editor @ABC, ex World Editor BBC
    #6 E CIU the Climate PR people of course
    .. and more of them

  13. Nick Fairhurst permalink
    September 2, 2019 12:15 am

    Folks …. expect a lot more of this Catastrophic Alarmist Climate Change drivel … read on …


    3 weeks to go till climate propaganda week starts Sept 26th 2019, spotted by Kip Hansen of WattsUp, in the National Narrative for media on Climate Change and what the Catastrophic Alarmist Climate Change lobbyists are being asked to prepare! ☹

    …….. and the summary of the Catastrophic Alarmist dynamic duo of Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope are circulating as a “call to arms”:…

    “Our ask of you is simple: commit to a week of focused climate coverage this September. We are organizing news outlets across the US and abroad—online and print, TV and audio, large and small—to run seven days of climate stories from September 16 through the climate summit UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres hosts in New York September 23. The stories you run are up to you, though we can offer ideas and background information and connect outlets looking for content with content providers looking for outlets.”

    Here is their article……

    ….. so now we all know what to expect during that week of Sept 23rd and why this date was chosen …scary level of cult deception and organisation, eh?

  14. September 2, 2019 1:15 am

    The town does have a beach volleyball club
    In the photo one brave person is wearing shorts, most in T-shirts

    Another blog has a few photos of Greenland kids wearing T-shirts on the beach in 2008
    It’s another town I think


    Elsewhere I can see a kid in a T-shirt in a canoe in one Quaanaq photo

  15. September 2, 2019 1:16 am

    BTW interesting that Greenland has some hot springs
    … that might melt some ice

    Uunartoq most popular : The source of the heat in the spring is not due to volcanic activity, but to the geothermal subsoil, which heats the water in the spring, when soil layers rub against each other.

    The hottest spring in Greenland is at Qeqertarsuaq, reaching up to 60C
    while the spring at Uunartoq reaches temperatures of about 38C

  16. saparonia permalink
    September 2, 2019 12:57 pm

    When hell freezes over no doubt that will also be all our fault.
    Even though I knew from the start that the Sun is the sole cause of the weather, I didn’t even notice that they were now calling it “climate change” instead of “global warming” for ages until someone pointed it out.
    The masters of delusion are very subtle in not admitting to having got everything wrong. It’s extremely difficult to inform anyone. You say they’re doing this to create panic and make money, and the listener’s eyes glaze over.

  17. Ivan permalink
    September 2, 2019 4:37 pm

    Arctic warming is mainly happening in the darker half of the year, especially Oct-Dec.

    Here is the last 12 months statistics for Longyearbyen in Svalbard, about 79 degs N. They only show the last 12 months, but it has been very similar high level pattern several years in succession.

  18. swan101 permalink
    September 2, 2019 9:25 pm

    Reblogged this on ECO-ENERGY DATABASE.

  19. David Perkins permalink
    September 4, 2019 10:38 pm

    I hope you’ve had chance to see the BBC reports on their 10.00 pm news the last couple of nights?

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